Myanmar is open for business: US lifts sanctions

With U.S. sanctions on Myanmar ending on Friday following Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit to the White House last month, the country has been opened to more business opportunities and investment.

The U.S. Treasury Department ended its decades-long economic sanctions on the country, also known as Burma, as it has made steady progress reforming its government under the guidance of the country’s de facto leader Suu Kyi.

In a meeting between the two country’s leaders, President Barack Obama said it was “the right thing to do in order to ensure that the people of Burma see the rewards from a new way of doing business, and a new government.”

As part of the lift, a number of companies and business owners were removed from the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons list, or SDN list, which barred them from doing business with American companies. These 100 or so businesses and individuals had been linked to the military junta that ruled from 1962 to 2011. Now most of the names have been scrapped from the list, though some will remain sanctioned.

As Asian Review reports, foreign companies will have far less fear doing business in Myanmar. General Electric came back in 2012; Microsoft set up shop this September, its first in the country; and Citibank and American International Group are rumored to make moves into the country.